At the end of December, the First Department handed down its decision in People v. Wrotten, 2008 NY Slip Op 10226. At issue in Wrotten was whether the trial court erred in allowing the complainant to testify at trial via two-way, televised video.
The court held that the trial court improperly admitted the testimony since New York statutory law did not specifically provide for it, but also noted:
At the very least, even assuming that [the] defendantâs Sixth Amendment right of confrontation was not violated, she was denied a valuable component of that right. In our judgment, in the absence of express legislative authorization, depriving [the] defendant of a face-to-face meeting with her principal accuser â indeed, the person whose testimony was necessary for the prosecution to make out a prima facie case â tainted the fairness of the trial.
Niki also talks about the use of Twitter for reporting from the courtroom.